that was different than an educating vision. it might be a possibility as we merge down the line. it's different from what you're talking about. there's got to be people who want to do this in some organized way. sir? >> yeah. my issue with the radio station, i think, there are relatively affordability -- affordable, you go on aid owe stations for a million $s or something -- [inaudible] you can could take talk radio that seems to -- [inaudible] they are taking over leading radio stations in san francisco and chicago, wgn, and kgo by conservative taking liberal stages and turning them to conservative stations.
plus, it's ridiculous. because, you know, they are liberal markets. it's very do able, very affordable, and it could create the message we need to carry out the other transformation. by the way, in 1982, i had a i taught a -- talked a giewcial gubernatorial campaign -- [inaudible] in the state of oregon, a long time ago, and sold him on it. got supported all the way. maybe the city manager can do that. maybe we can take the city council and the banking and create a -- [inaudible] or north dakota state bank just for the city of madison. >> like the color of your -- [inaudible] >> but that's exactly what is
happening. >> in i stt of richmond, california. the the mayor set up a office to create it. using -- i was in massachusetts recently activists there asking what could you do with city government? city government has a power of imminent domain. it's been used in boston, for instance. it has finance, it has procurement. could have technical assistance, it could be used for a lot of interesting things, and in cleveland some of that has been done -- the cleveland mayor is looking good. he's not as dependent on the corporations. using the officer of the mayor, when i was in a major trn city two weeks ago and the mayor is doing this. it's go able if you see what is out there practically. it's practical stuff. it's a different vision. go for it. maybe it's radio stations. >> hi.
i actually work for progressive radio -- [inaudible] i have two questions, actually. you frame cooperate ias a product of a necessity of the environment building an assessment far cooperative it. what can people do as -- [inaudible] not dire yet and have the employees and don't necessarily have all the means of production to form their own. also, what is my incentive as a consumer to interact with the cooperative instead of going somewhere that might be cheaper and make it more valuable. >> so cooperative, i see that's not the only way to do it. you can form them out of intention and ecological vision and cooperative vision. too. but what is given the impetus is that. so it would not be beyond your
possibility -- i'm not teasing. how do you think it's done? it's always done by people saying hey, why don't we do this? it's never magic. it's people rolling up the sleeves saying it's a good idea. it doesn't have to be that way. it can be gone out of intention and cooperative do better and better service and give people a better experience period. but necessity people meaning something different has to happen is not only physical and economic necessity but psychological necessity. a cultural level. on the other one, incentive is virtually all the ones i described are equally good in term of price, and usually better in term of service. plus, having a community vision. those are pretty good reasons far lot of people to participate particularly if you use that as a way to promote. that's what a lot of people are doing.
you can go to -- i'm sure in madison you can buy coffee from certain places that are pesant grown. it's better coffee too. [inaudible] there's a lot of models. part of the necessity is people really thinking something different has to happen. i don't want to get in to that system. it's psychological as well. way in the back. >> you frame this more for the united states -- [inaudible] i know we're powerful as a country. that's because of the cooperation. our military and our corporation. how is this translate the rest of the world? like, for instance, south america where new change -- [inaudible] africa which is a dire straits. i mean, do you think the model would -- [inaudible] , i mean, we have to think more worldly than ever before. >> the question is these kinds of ideas internationally.
>> yeah. >> there are some -- let me say a few things about that. the most interesting model in the world right now is -- [inaudible] it's 85,000 people. some know it. those who tonight know who it is. an integrated set of 85 to 100 co-op with a they work together if one is in trouble you have guarantee to work in the other one. it's a complex organization. highly successful. 85,000 people. imheeting on the world market on major technical and high technical equipment but also stores and grocery stores and construction and like a multinational corpse. co-op. >> just to give you the flavor of it. the wage top to bottom in 85% of the co-op are five to, six to
one. major corporations are 300 or 400 to one. it's an extraordinary achievement. it comes out a special case. it's probably not replicateble. it's very important. the very thing, i want to respond to your question, i think there are applications of the idea internationally, and they -- you can find them in the immediate part of italy where there's another form of linked co-op and worker co-op. i'm very hesitant both as a historian of political economists to say our model or whatever, i think our smoadle -- is the model for other countries. i don't like to do that. i think, first, it's imperial, but also i don't think we know enough about what the conditions are in very specific countries. we don't know enough about what to do here.
i'm hesitant about saying this model, as much as something in the decentralizing wealth changing motel and very american form is a good direction. i don't know if that's right for other countries. take a look for yourselves, but you know your country better than i do. i'm cosh about americans telling what will work. sir, you had your hand up. i believe -- my family and a couple of -- [inaudible] i believe in -- and immigrating society that set that whole thing up. it was a bunch of people waiting from various force, military forces and actually more hiding out there and later on starting their own little city and stuff like that. they are so maul and could care less. a lot of -- a lot of --
progress as far as oacial issue -- social issues are done by immigrants. in other words people that are fed up in germany, greece came over and immigrated to the united states and set up their own communities and basically got established in the same type of political, economic cells you are talking about. how important is immigration and cell structure to forming the type of alliance that is -- [inaudible] >> . >> i don't know the answer to your question. we haven't seen a significant part around the country. it seems to be pretty much down home america. >> people don't come to the community? >> we haven't seen that phenomena. it might be true. i couldn't answer that specifically. i haven't seen it. >> okay. [inaudible]
my impression which might be steer -- stereotypicallism and a lot of other cultures more particularly anxious -- [inaudible] have been communal which remains are imperialism and our cooperation -- [inaudible] >> and development more technology. that's another possible, yes. sir? >> you make it convincing case for a rare reformist, you know, kind of nonviolent movement in the united states. i think that you know what you're recommending should be taken to the max. like, in madison, for example, a liberal progressive -- [inaudible] most of the city tax revenues
are parked and u.s. bank andback of america. the money could be taken. why shouldn't we have a big hyper conic enterprise cooperative here? we have a tradition of being, you know, -- that said one of my concerns; however even if we push to the max, it's probably, only, maybe 5 to 10% of the american population could be reorganized in to such enterprises. that would be a huge achievement. but the rest of the work force trapped, you know, in the corporate enterprises, top down. and with the huge wealth and equality in the fact that so much land and productive assets are controlled by the 1% or upper 5%. do you think the time is going to come when sister -- it's going to be necessary while
we're building this alternative economy to hit to [inaudible] mass movement like the civil rights movement. kinds of the combination what the civil rights movement and the old militant-style labor movement to also directly assault, you know, the corporate -- [inaudible] and direct action and workplace and community and industry. my main concern is that i have seen -- i'm now saying this -- i'm not saying it's true of you. i have seen advocates for co-op pose co-op as an alternative. they counter pose it to more traditional form of class struggle. i find when that's done, it's dangerous in the counter-- [inaudible] >> so the question you asked me don't you think they have to be a far more transformative radical transformative movement to achieve real change. the answer is yes. but no. but let me say.
i say that in a careful way. i don't think the movement i know anything about have an idea or clue what they put in place of corporate capitalism if they won. they don't have an idea. it's rhetoric. it's bull. until we learn and develop and know what the hell we want, that would produce a democratic system based on transforming the ownership of power of wealth, we ought to be careful about that. so what i'm talking about in a maximum transformative possibility, the conclusion. you never know about history. this might -- it could -- [inaudible] that's a possibility. repression is a possibility. what the argument is if -- what is necessary in all cases is to learn enough and develop enough and going really build out so we havety clarity about a system we want to live in.
we don't. one of the ways you get the clarity is by learning and building and theorizing and developing. that possibility is an extraordinarily exciting possibility. it ain't happened before. we live in a time where that possibility may be opening up where you actually see on the ground people experimenting in more and more sophisticated ways with transforming ownership in a democratic way. that's a big deal. that gets you pretty far but doesn't get you to traps forming either the political power and even a systemic design. that's elements that point in the direction of a vision to put that more clearly, we would have to really debate the after ward of the book. that's a talk i gave at the sociology department today. it's time to put the question of design on the table. if you don't like corporate capitalism, what the hell do you want? tell me why it would work better. that's a profound intellectual
challenge as well as a political problem. for those you interested, i wrote a piece last week, which lays out some of the questions here. that's on the table and there's intellectual work as well as political work to do on it. people don't know. so yes, i agree ultimately it's the question of power ultimately involved in this. and it requires a powerful movement. >> sir? >> a couple of different questions. one thought is -- [inaudible] power without a struggle basically. if you look at the youngstown example, that seems to be a pretty good indication behalf would happen if you or this movement starts to be effective. and what i want to go with that. two things -- [inaudible] sure. >> sure. i forgot to say something. >> okay. >> okay. because the youngstown didn't
happen and probably -- the steel workers' union was against it. thirty years later, there's a lot of companies and cleveland as a model. what i forgot to mention in the process of development over thirty years, the international steel workers union is supporting worker owners. as a major initiative. there's transformation within that constitution as well. and the fiu and other major unit you know. if you think 6 it as historian there's a process at work even in labor unions, some of them. the steel workers being important. they were dead against it. now they are dead for it promoting it all over the country. >> yeah. that's good. that's part of my other question. if you are looking a the history, and talking about two or three decades, i wonder -- isn't history accelerating quite a bit faster than we're used to? do we really -- i don't perceive that we have
two or three decades to develop something new. and where it leads to is what about the -- [inaudible] movie or concept from changing from monetary to resource-based fund. do you see that this system you're talking about i think maintains -- [inaudible] what about that? i don't know enough about resource-based economy. so could you say something about that? >> probably not enough, no. there's a whole ecological and resource aspect of this discussion. , which i only began to touch on when i talked about the ecological aspect ff. there's a lot of pressure coming in there that side of it to climate change particularly. and growth as well. there's resource limits. i suspect, if you look closely
at that. things will get worse, that we aren't going to solve the climate change problem quickly as bill keep hopes we could. you can't there from here unless you change the power structure, which means that the kind of things i'm talking about are preconditioned. by the way, you guys know large american corporations must grow. they have no choice. if they don't grow, wall street will kill them. so good guys running large corporations, must grow -- if you are worried about resource limit, that animal won't do it. period. so you have to make it in to something that doesn't have a non-profit or utility that -- [inaudible] so i don't know the answer to your question. but the resource limit problem certainly is very real. >> how about history going faster than -- >> i don't know about that. history going faster, slower, i don't even know what it means. >> you don't see the things that
change us are coming much more quickly than we are used to? we look back over the last five decades as we try to predict something over the next five decades? >> i don't think that's a proposition. you have to go case by case. i don't know about that. >> i'm cautious about making that kind of a judgment. >> sir? >> just following up on a question from there. what example did you see of had this integration between the traditional form of struggle or movement building effort or community organizing. and the alternative way of building this new economy? i ask that because i'm trying understand, you know, how do the cost get capital to start? what are the opportunities we are engaging in?
>> whether it's reform or whatever. >> so there are two questions. there's kind of related sometimes. so let me tell you about the capital question. it's a -- i'll come back to the other. you all have hospitals and universities within it's a good place to start. every community -- every major community to a significant scale with a lot of taxpayer. it's open to political demand. we are paying for you. we want -- some of those guys want to do it on their own. leaving aside that. the cleveland clinic, the cleveland -- the big industrial scale laundry was financed with bank capital at the height of the worst financial crisis in modern american history. nobody could get loans. how did they go that? you walk to a bank with a contract from the big hospital, bam. you got a golden contract because of the capital works. you have a business proposition,
makes sense. so controlling the source of the market, in this case, purchases from the hospital or university, gives you -- that's the way most corporations do it. you have a narcotic is fundable. give you one source of capital. it's a good business proposition. so that's one way to do it with the banks. another way go it is -- you know the term community agreement various form of community strategy as you get community bringing pressure against a developer, for instance. then they force him -- if he wants to continue the development to actually give the community a number of concessions. that's going on all over the country. but -- [inaudible] yeah community benefit. that process i've been talking to organizers they think could be adapted to getting more capital as well as business opportunities as well. bring an organize party. and meeting sunday morning at the national -- people's action group.
they are looking at intactly how you integrate these strategies. organizers are beginning to realize they get to the economy and begin to say how do we put it together? for instance it's one of the things people are talking about. teachers, hospital workers, and public workers are under tremendous pressure. there's no way out of that unless you can increase the tax base. you get more tax revenue directly. one of the ways to do that is through building a whole economy locally that involves changing the relationship. it doesn't run away. they don't run away. they are there. can there be a strategy using community benefit agreement. getting the mayor to help you and the hospital and beginning
to build it up and using it to -- because you are building the tax base. it's a strategic way people are beginning to talk about experimenting with. this is wide open for innovation. if you actually get in there and roll your sleeves up you'll find a lot of people looking at the question figuring out what are we talking about. how can we do it? can you get the banks to the quasi public hands. and a politician and part is new community development. the mayor of cleveland looks fantastic. he looks politically great. he's getting jobs for people. it's positive not negative. there's at lot of opportunity for people to innovate. not easy, but it's available in many parts. we shall see. maybe or maybe not. how far it will go. one or two more questions, i think, probably. and we'll -- >> way in the back. >> i'm involved with workers'
co-op. i fully understand what we are capable of and what scale they work on. [inaudible] most stth citizens within a mile of this place can work very well with worker's co-op. what kind of vision can you imagine that will replace general motors in a democratic fashion. there are economy of scales and way beyond what they are capable of. i don't know how you can -- [inaudible] >> no. i don't either. that's the challenge for it's an obvious challenge for large -- there's a technological issue going on here too. i was lecturing at m. i. t. you hear them -- the 3-d printing. it's the beginning. there are possibilities. i don't know about that. nonetheless, the challenge is taking large -- what do you about large
institutions becomes the interesting question. it may be the culture of democratic participation has gotten some of the elements in it that have to contain and manage because they are elegants. i don't know about that. but it's another area of intellectual research bhap is the best we know that has been done? what can be done better? these are real questions. i love -- i like the last two questions particularly. they are constructive questions we can work on. yo can experiment. there's a lot of ways to get tat. how do you get the capital. there are two or three dpircht ones. there are probably ten more if you look. and ten more that i don't know about. it's an interesting question like the university question. what the hell do we want? you don't like this system? what grow want? the ball is in your court. our court. so i'm -- instead of mowning --
mooning and growing the question becomes our responsibility if you don't like what you see. what do you want? and it involves really different -- difficulties like large industry and what do you we haven't talked about this one. i'll drop another one at the end here. what do you do about a continental scale system of almost 300,000 and moving to 500 million and the census bureau is 1.1 billion by the end of the century. probably won't get there. you tell me how you participate democracy. the guy who taught at the university argued inevitably it was too large to manage economically. most states were too small and the entire mediate it was called a region. there will be regional decentralizing. maybe that so. you want to think about in
another way? what makes sense? it's time begin answering the questions. this rickety old constitution, which is absurd in many ways. something like twenty states have as many votes in the senate taken together as california. and that was done for -- it was done in negotiation over slavery. come on. you have to think again about the constitutional structure. really. it's out of wack. just to take another piece of it. most of the model, in term of social democracy how we could do like the german and the swedens, et. cetera. those are small -- i used to tell my students, they love it. you will get a kick out of it. those are dickensy little countries. like germany. what i meant it's easier to organize a politics in a emergency roomily size -- reasonably sized country. you can drop germany to montana.
they are very small geographic. we are on a continent. ill williams is probably right. decentralizing in some form. if you talk about the next century, we talk about how the system gets restructured. included constitution issues. the president of the sociology association are in to it big time. what is the next system really look like? and how do we begin thinking about it? both leading figure in those two professions are beginning to the ask and the question of industrial scale have got to be on the table. some of the business scales are beginning to ask it. there are progressive -- i gave a lecture today at the sociology department and the guy comes up the president of the business school. i gave something like the same discussion. he said i agree with you entirely. we're working on design problems. what? i'm speechless -- to give you an idea. the press doesn't cover it. the academy of management is meeting in florida this summer. they go -- everybody goes to florida.
it's cheap in the summer. or nevada. there will be 10,000 management consult assistants all of whom work basically for the large corporation. go to the website and read what the manifest is. is capitalism over? what do we do about capitalism? is there a different system? that's what they're talking about. that's what the guy who does the sweet issue, the thing that happened in switzerland. the little town -- [inaudible] saying the problem before us is leading corporate guys is capitalism over? he said that. i'm not saying that. they are asking questions. they realize there are really big problems in the system. big problem. they understand that. i was amazed at what the management association. it is a very sophisticated. it could have been written by marxism but but the analysis was extremely radical. it was written in business
language. another sign they asked me to keynote the conference. something is going on. something is going on in the country. people know there's a big problem not like usual. and so, you know, you probably heard it me say it enough. if it's a democratic transformation, even a shot at the democratic transformation, the ball is in our court. like, the person sitting in your seat there or standing here. otherwise they do it. it will end up some other way. i think this is tsh closing line; right? i think this is maybe the most important period of american history. including the revolution, including the civil war. the system i believe is coming to the end of its capacity. it may also become transformative.
it's coming to the end in my view for the reason i try to lay out. lots of things that are failing before your eyes. it,s a -- you know, the question -- yeah. i mean, historian and political i've been there and done that. the question you know is none of the above. the question is extension issue. what will you or i actually do is a personal question. thank you very much. [applause] thank you for coming. [inaudible conversations] we would like to hear from you. tweet us your feedback twitter.com/booktv. >> hoover constitution senior fellow abdullah omar naseef -- abraham sofaer talked to booktv about "taking on iran." he argues that the u.s. should stand up to iran by directly
confronting the country's revolutionary guard corp. and the surrogates. which he says have attacked the u.s. and israel with impunity for the past thirty years. this is about thirty minutes. >> host: "taking on iran" is the name of the book. the author is abraham sofaer who is a senior fellow at the hoover institution. doctor sofaer, is our current strategy of sanctions working against iran? >> guest: we are certainly putting pressure on them economically, but it's hurting the people of iran more than it's hurting the iranian revolutionary guard core. they are really our enemy. the answer is no. >> host: in your book, you spend quite a bit of time talk about the irgc, the revolutionary guard corp.
who are they? >> they were creating under the new iranian constitution in 1979 with the assignment of defending the islamic character of the iranian revolution. they have an enormous amount of assets and responsibilities. they are very radical. they have -- they control many defense industries. they have their own army, air force, and navy. they control the missile program, and they are under the eye ayatollah. they have a force which does assassination and other interventions abroad. right now their force is the group that is helping asad stay in power in syria. >> what is the relationship with the president of iran?
who is -- who controls what? >> well, the president has his own area of power, but the irgc is answerable to the eye eastbound -- -- eye tole will. and the president is under the ayatollah also. but couldn't order the irgc the ayatollah told them not to do or vice veer is a. >> what should be the goal in your view of our policy toward iran? what should be we looking for. >> the option to the two basic options we are considering now. an alternative to those two options would be what i woulded a vote cay we need to consider. the two options we're considering now are bothly highly undisiecialble. one is to attack iran's nuclear program, and to prevent iran from having nuclear bond.
and that is what the president has promised he will do. of course, president clinton promised he would do that with north korea, and he didn't do it. and wisely so. because it would not have been sensible to allow million south koreans to be killed in exchange for preventing north korea facebook page having a nuclear weapon. that cut an attack. it would be costly. it could cause a lot of civilian deaths. a lot of pollution, and it could fail. it would certainly be regarded in legitimate and illegal by most of the world. it would fail base iran would leave the nonproliferation treaty, and proceed in secret to
develop a nuclear weapon. now, the other option is let iran get it and try to contain a nuclear armed iran. that is equally, perhaps even worse than the option of attacking the nuclear program. because it is going mean to the proliferation of nuke rather weapons within the middle east, it's going destabilize that part of the world. iran is a threat to israel. and threatened in fact that israel should be wiped off the face of the earth. though you could have a major war between two nuclear powers. so both options are very undisiecial. as yet we failed to consider a third way. >> what is that? >> change our policy relating to
the irgc, which has been one of indull again and passivity. we allowed them to sponsor the killing of american soldiers, marine, marines in lebanon, our airmen in saudi arabia, our soldiers in iraq, and our soldiers now with the nato soldiers in afghanistan. we have allowed the irgc to work with hezbollah and to work with others in iraq to arm them to kill americans for that purpose. and that is clearly illegal activity. we should have set up to the irgc a long time ago. starting with the reagan administration. where we stood up to the soviet union and made a big difference. we were able to negotiate effectively as a result. so we should stand up to the irgc, defend ourselves from these irgc sponsored attacks,
then through that show of strength make serious negotiation possible. >> you have experience negotiating driectly with the iranians? >> absolutely. five years. >> in what catch? >> i was legal adviser to the state department under george schultz and jim baker. i conducted the negotiation with the iran. they were negotiations over claims, but claims included a lot of things. military things. and as we go oned -- developed a good relationship, myself and the person i negotiated with, who is a member of the council of guardians. he was a member of the ten-person controlling body in the iranian government. we were able to tackle some other issues as well. i think that one -- we can can negotiate effectively with iran, but we must do so with a background of strength
and with policies, negotiating policies which are more -- to what we did with the soviet union than they are to what we're doing now with iran. . abraham sofaer you worked with george p. schultz, sr. fellow of foreign policy at the national security at the hoover constitution. we interviewed secretary schultz a little while ago. one of his rules of thumbs was that if you're going point a gub at somebody, be prepared to use it. >> that's right. we have -- to a ridiculous point. we have not used the gun at all virtually. we have said that a nuclear armed iran would be unacceptable, we say that iran sport support for terrorism is unacceptable. we have the option, the military option, on the table.
we, the president said he's going prevent a nuclear armed iran. and the they said the president isn't bluffing. a lot of words have been expressed. we allowed iran to kill about 1,000 american soldiers in the last thirty years, and we have not pushed back adequately. the only time we pushed back was in 1987 in the gulf. when we pushed back and sank a bunch of iranian speedboats and one iranian ship, the iranians got the message, they stopped putting mines in the gulf, and they stopped firing missiles at u.s. flag -- so we made our point, and iran, if anything, was more eager to negotiate with us as a result of that strength than before that exercise much strength.
other than that, we have done nothing. when they tried to kill the saudi ambassador in washington, d.c., two years ago, all we did was indict the irgc officials. we knew were responsible. and we indicted bin laden twice and department do any good. he went on killing americans, blowing up american ships for until we actually took him out. that's what you have to do with radicals who want to kill americans. if you let them kill american, they will kill more americans. >> at the beginning of our discussion, you said we should not attack, attack would be bad. would be the wrong policy. how do you negotiate or operate from a position of strength if you're not willing to use military forces? >> it's very different to attack the nuclear facility in iran than exercise self-defense against the irgc. >> the nuclear facilities, they
are about ten of them, they are spread all over the country. they are highly dvded, very effective. very well defended. they could cause all the damage that i mentioned. including the alienation of the iranian people, incidentally. where as attacking the irgc in a form of self-defense would be regarded widely as legal, legislate mate, targeted. we could pick the target we want. there are plenty of irgc targets, conveys to carry to -- we could take out a voice on the iranian side of the border and make a point. it's a more limited, targeted ay to attack us and make it more difficult, if not impossible for us to achieve our strategic
purposes in places like iraq and afghanistan. >> in your book, "taking on iran," you have a chapter in here "thirty years of u.s. weakness." >> "thirty years of u.s. weakness" that's exactly right. it starts with jimmy carter. it was striking are me, as a ebb many of the reagan administration, where we were standing up to the soviet union, we said all the right things to the iran, but what did we end up doing? nothing. we allowed them to kill the marines in lebanon through hezbollah, then we said we were not going negotiate with terrorists. we engaged -- we did not cover it via iran. we ab viewtdly did the right thing with the soviet union. we negotiated from strength and we negotiated in the meaningful way. the five negotiating principles we use then. we don't apply any of those
principles via iran. it doesn't make any sense. it didn't make any sense to me then. and i frequently mentioned that. when we came out of the government, i told secretary schultz, we should apply to iran the policies we applied to the soviet union. he agreed with me. i'm honored. he wrote the forward to the book. >> what are the five negotiating principles? >> the first is that you have to have rear rhetorical restraint. don't say things that run acceptable and accept them. don't make a fool of the person you are negotiating with and make it difficult for them to make concessions by pounding on the chest and claiming you achieved something. make it easier for not growing as ronald reagan said he would not krow.
treat them like a sovereign nation. that doesn't mean so you to accept or respect them, for that matter. you have to engage diplomatically the way diplomacy works the sovereign states. and the soviets were very concerned about that. they wanted to be treated as a sovereign state. they might -- they were the evil empire as far as we were considered. ronald reagan said so. he still treated them with great respect and dignity. the third, may be the most important thing, is linkage. we linked our logicalness to talk to iran to the behavior. their behavior is material. the behavior of the soviet union was equally bad if not worse. secretary schultz and ronald reagan decided instead of linking our logicalness to talk. we have to stand up to them when nay do something wrong and refusing to talk does not deter
an enemy. standing up to an enemy does potentially. it makes talking more possible. i believe if we stop linking our willingness to talk to the conduct, stood up to them. we would be more effective at talking to them. they would be more willing to talk to us. the fourth thing is a broad agenda. we have -- we know the iranians are interesting in talking to us about a lot of things. we care about a lot of things in iraq, particularly human rights. we never talk about that stuff in the negotiation. all we talk about what is we want. the nuclear concessions. they feel, i'm sure they're right.
human right and regional issues. lot of other things. and every time our leaders met, they had a few things they had agreements to sign. there was momentum that was created as a result of having a broad agenda, that we absolutely do not have with iran. there's no momentum. that leads me to the fifth and final point. that is the context which you negotiate, the forum, we have to be willing to talk to the iranians in my forum secret meetings. private meetings, even the meetings of commercial leaders. the way we did with the soviets. but what we do is we have the pf plus -- p5+1 and sit down with the iranian at the high level, very big to do about it every time it happens. it's on television. we get up and say we're going
demand this and that. and close it and stop enrichment. then they said, before they talk to us, not going to stop enrichment. we're not going close it and talk. sure. we are not going to do any of the thing they say they want from us. they come out of the talks and reassure the public they haven't done anything. that's not the away to achieve progress in a negotiation. >> you have to have -- so you to have the sophistication, the expertise, the commitment to actually change things. it means changing things means you have to big your out solution. we have not managed to do it. those are the negotiating we use with the prin. en there's no reason we shouldn't. >> if iran were to acquire
nuclear weapons, would they be willing to negotiate? wouldn't they feel stronger at that point? >> it would be a new ball game. it is true. we might well negotiate with them. we negotiate with the soviets after they acquired nuclear weapons. they both rejected preventive attack on the soviet union before that. for all the reasons i mentioned, it would be even worse. who wants to go in the soviet union or china for that matter, and prevent them from having a nuclear weapon. you have to have the whole population of the united states, virtually guarding the population of the soviet union or china. it's an unpenble idea. >> we might be forced to have negotiate with them. after acquiring nuclear weapons. it's going to be a terrible much more difficult problem.
henry kissinger puts it well. you think about the complexity of keeping the world safe in the cold war with two nuclear off each other. you multiple it many times over, and you start getting an idea what we have to face if we let iran have a nuclear weapon. because they are going to cause -- to get nuclear weapon and the saudis and maybe the turk, egyptians armed with nuclear weapons, and that is just going make now kind arrangement to stabilize that area of the world and, you know, ultimately the world itself that much more difficult. let's hope we don't have to get to the point. that's what my book is about. trying to have another way, another path, where we emphasize, limited discreet set of strength through force within
iran, but discreet, limited force against the highly unpopular entity within the state. an entity that is trant call with the people, and corrupt, very corrupt. and everyone in iran knows it. and so if we attack them, it's not going to be anywhere near as damaging to our standing with the iranian people as if we attack the nuclear program. so that would give us a leverage we need both externally and internally to be able to talk to iran in a meaningful way. we need the political leverage. and then i would advocate we talk to them. in an in-depth effective manner. we know how do. behave done it. >> abraham sofaer, what do you think the was after mat rein bombing in beirut, not
retaliating? >> well, there was several reasons given at the time. one was pretends. that is the notion that hezbollah would not supported by iran and the irgc, and we knew then that was not a viable idea, but c.a.t weinberger said there was some doubt about it. he didn't want to attack the hezbollah bases. but the president did. the president did want to attack. somehow between one meeting and another, the president decided not to attack. incidentally after we told the french we would attack. it was a disappointment to the french, to the lebanese, and secretary schultz. he was absolutely embarrassed by
the whole situation. and it did seat tone of weakness that we were never able to rebut and try to rebut because we if not respond when we were -- when our soldier were attacked our airmen were attacked in saudi arabia. we did not respond when our soldiers were killed in iran. our military repeatedly said publicly that the iranians were supplying it with weapons aimed at destroying american armored vehicles and tanks and killing americans. of course, that enabled iran not only kill americans but increase influence within iran. which now is probably greater than ours. so it was not good strategy to just take it on a chance.
it enabled iran to walk away from that engagement with the united states. we left, they are there there. woe never struck back. they look strong domestically and in iran as a result. now they are doing the same thing in afghanistan. and we're letting them do it. all of this is damaging our effort ultimately to convince them that we are creditably going to prevent them from having a nuclear weapon. i don't see how they could be convinced that we honestly would follow through and prevent them given that history of weakness. that's why i laid it out. thirty years of weakness. thirty years of terror, thirty years of weakness you have to have -- you have to overcome it with deeds not words.
as secretary schultz said. you have to point the gun and pull the trigger. >> what would -- what should be our response if israel would attack in. >> well, i hope that it doesn't come to that, obviously. i am -- the book is written about the united states. i'm not an israeli. i know, that -- i'm jewish, i know that what israel has to face and what the prime minister of israel has to face every day, the thought if iran gets a nuclear weapon, you could have another holocaust. there's only 15 million jews left in the world. the germans killed six million in the second world war. so if you could have another holocaust, you know, we jew, we keep track of our history, and if the prime minister of israel at the time of nuclear attack on israel, however unlike think may
be, that is something that you don't want to be written down in history for. you were there and did nothing about it. the pressure on israel is tremendous to do something. i still believe that iran does not want to have a war. think about having had so much to do with the iranians who i talked to, you know, member of the cabinet, people who were ambassador to the u.n. but there are elements within iran that almost want to create a sense of december dpraition and anxiety. it terrifies those people outside the country who are
worried that something will happen. so what should we do? well, first of all, i think we are doing the right thing by trying convince israel not to attack iran at this point. but we are -- we need to really get something going that is an alternative to a major attack. here it is. this is the best i can do secretary schultz approved of it. henry kissinger has written a blearing. he approved. i would like that see the united states try it. in the meantime, if we are going do that, i would really hope that israel does not attack iran, and that that is going to lead to an ongoing dynamic between the two countries. who knows if it would end. there would be an ongoing war,
terrorism, it would just multiply the problems israel faces today. so if we can somehow avoid that, i think the united states -- the administration is doing just the right thing with israel trying to i are -- reassure israel that we have idea. we are committed to their support. we need to have those idea. we need to come up with ideas and need to do more to really solve this problem. ..